We all know the new Mazda BT-50 was derived from the Isuzu D-Max rather than the Ford Ranger for this generation.

    Now we have pricing and specifications for both models, it seems wise to contrast them. We’re lining up a ‘proper’ comparison test when possible, but for now this will hopefully give some insights.

    Naturally there are some stylistic differences. The cabins look different too, with divergent vents, trim colours and steering wheel hubs.

    Isuzu also offers an extra year of warranty (six versus five), but the former is capped at 150,000km unlike the latter.

    In short

    • The D-Max X-Terrain flagship has a hard rolling tray cover, a body kit, and a tub liner, and also drive-away pricing from launch. The BT-50 GT equivalent lacks these add-ons but instead has heated seats and an electrochromatic mirror.
    • The mid-range D-Max LS-U is available in unique (for now) extended-cab body, but the equivalent BT-50 XTR alone has a proximity key fob and button start.
    • The D-Max LS-M stands alone, with all-terrain rubber and heavy duty rear suspension from cab-chassis models.
    • The D-Max SX undercuts the BT-50 XT on price but lacks the Mazda’s LED headlights and rear sensors. It also has carpet floors instead of vinyl.
    • The Isuzu comes in single-cab, extended-cab, and dual-cab bodies. The Mazda is currently dual-cab only.
    • Isuzu has one more year of warranty, but also a distance cap.

    Lifestyle pickups: Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain v Mazda BT-50 GT

    This pair are the range-toppers, and both are solely dual-cab utes with 4×4.

    The D-Max X-Terrain is available with an automatic transmission only, whereas the BT-50 GT is available as a manual or auto.

    Isuzu is already selling the top-of-the-range D-Max at special drive-away pricing, whereas Mazda is yet to announce any specific national deals.

    • D-Max X-Terrain: $62,900 before on-road costs ($58,990 drive-away)
    • BT-50 GT: $56,990 before on-road costs (manual) and $59,990 (auto)

    Let’s look at features they have in common. The table below shows mechanical and capacities.

    Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainMazda BT-50 GT
    Engine3.0 litre, 4-cyl, diesel3.0 litre, 4-cyl, diesel
    Power140kW @ 3600rpm140kW @ 3600rpm
    Torque450Nm @ 1600rpm450Nm @ 1600rpm
    Fuel use8.0L/100km7.7-8.0L/100km
    DrivePart-time 4×4Part-time 4×4
    Tow rating3500kg3500kg

    Now, what about safety features? They both have the longest list of active safety features in the class, across all variants.

    Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainMazda BT-50 GT
    Airbags EightEight
    AEB forward, and turningYesYes
    Forward collision alertYesYes
    Post-collision brakingYesYes
    Active cruise control YesYes (6AT)
    Traffic-sign recognitionYesYes
    Misacceleration mitigation pedalYesYes (6AT)
    Lane-keeping aidsYesYes
    Driver attention monitorYesYes
    Blind-spot monitorYesYes
    Rear cross-traffic alertYesYes
    Auto high beamYesYes

    What about some key features? Differences in bold.

    Isuzu D-Max X-TerrainMazda BT-50 GT
    Wheels 18-inch alloy18-inch alloy
    Tyres 265/60265/60
    Headlights Auto-levelling LEDAuto-levelling LED
    Parking sensors Front/rearFront/rear
    Side mirrors Power foldingPower folding
    Side steps YesYes
    Roof railsYes No
    Proximity keyYesYes
    Remote startYesYes
    Tub featuresTub liner, roller hard-tonneau cover, body kit Accessories catalogue
    Colours White solid, grey mica, blue mica, red mica, black mica, silver metallic, orange metallic, white pearl White solid, grey mica (x 2), blue mica, red mica, black mica, silver metallic
    Sat-navYes Yes
    Apple CarPlayWireless Wireless
    Android AutoWired Wired
    Camera view ReverseReverse
    A/C type Dual-zone climate controlDual-zone climate control
    Auto-dimming rear-view mirror No Yes
    Seat material Black leatherBrown leather
    Seat heating NoYes

    Mid-range: Isuzu D-Max LS-U v Mazda BT-50 XTR

    This pair sit a rung below the flagships on the variant totem pole.

    Both the D-Max LS-U and BT-50 XTR come in dual-cab body configurations with either 4×2 or 4×4 – the latter with manual or auto transmissions (Mazda charges $500 more than Isuzu for the same Aisin 6AT).

    • D-Max LS-U 4×2 dual-cab ute: $48,900 (auto)
    • D-Max LS-U 4×4 dual-cab ute: $54,900 (manual) and $56,900 (auto)
    • BT-50 XTR 4×2 dual-cab ute: $49,740 (auto)
    • BT-50 XTR 4×4 dual-cab ute: $54,710 (manual) and $57,210 (auto)

    They sport the same engine as the range-toppers.

    Isuzu D-Max LS-UMazda BT-50 XTR
    Fuel use7.7L-8.0L/100km7.7L-8.0L/100km
    Drive4×2 and 4×44×2 and 4×4
    Weight4×2: 1960kg
    4×4: 2035-2045kg
    4×2: 1945kg
    4×4: 2020-2030kg
    Payload4×2: 1040kg
    4×4: 1055-1065kg
    4×2: 1055kg
    4×4: 1070-1080kg

    What are some of the key feature differences? If something is not listed in the table, then assume it’s the same as the X-Terrain/GT.

    Isuzu D-Max LS-UMazda BT-50 XTR
    Parking sensors RearRear
    Tub featuresAccessories catalogueAccessories catalogue
    Roof rails No No
    Body kit NoNo
    Handles and mirrors Silver Silver
    Seat trim Cloth Cloth
    Seat adjust ManualManual
    Proximity keyNoYes
    Button start NoYes
    Remote start NoNo

    Workhorses: Isuzu D-Max SX and LS-M v Mazda BT-50 XT

    Isuzu offers two workhorse grades called LS-M, and SX, while Mazda offers just the one, called XT.

    The LS-M is only available as a 4×4 dual-cab ute body with manual or automatic transmissions. It alone gets all-terrain tyres as standard, and picks up heavier duty suspension from the cab chassis versions.

    The D-Max SX dual-cab grades come in cab-chassis and ute body styles in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations. It’s the same story for the BT-50 XT, though Mazda’s premium for the ute tub over the cab-chassis is $200 greater than Isuzu’s.

    • D-Max SX 4×2 dual-cab chassis: $40,700 (auto)
    • D-Max SX 4×2 dual-cab ute: $41,900 (auto)
    • D-Max SX 4×4 dual-cab chassis: $46,700 (manual) and $48,700 (auto)
    • D-Max SX 4×4 dual-cab ute: $47,900 (manual) and $49,900 (auto)
    • D-Max LS-M 4×4 dual-cab ute: $51,000 (manual) and $53,000 (auto)
    • BT-50 XT 4×2 dual-cab chassis: $44,090 (auto)
    • BT-50 XT 4×2 dual-cab ute: $45,490 (auto)
    • BT-50 XT 4×4 dual-cab chassis: $49,360 (manual) and $51,860 (auto)
    • BT-50 XT 4×4 dual-cab ute: $50,760 (manual) and $53,260 (auto)

    They sport the same engine as the range-toppers.

    Isuzu D-Max SXIsuzu D-Max LS-MMazda BT-50 XT
    Fuel use7.7L-8.0L/100km7.7L-8.0L/100km7.7L-8.0L/100km
    Drive4×2 and 4×44×44×2 and 4×4
    Weight4×2: 1825-1950kg
    4×4: 1900-2035kg
    4×4: 2020-2030kg4×2: 1805-1925kg
    4×4: 1880-2010kg
    Payload (cab chassis measured pre tray fitment)4×2: 1050-1175kg
    4×4: 1065-1200kg
    4×4: 1070-1080kg4×2: 1075-1195kg
    4×4: 1090-1220kg
    Rear leaf suspension Ute: Standard
    Cab-chassis: ‘Heavy duty’
    Heavy duty Ute: Standard
    Cab-chassis: ‘Heavy duty’

    What are some of the key feature differences? If something is not listed in the table, then assume it’s the same as the aforementioned.

    Isuzu D-Max SXIsuzu D-Max LS-MMazda BT-50 XT
    Wheels 17-inch steel17-inch alloy17-inch steel
    Tyres 255/65 AT255/65 AT 255/65 AT
    FloorsVinyl VinylCarpet
    A/CManualManual Manual
    Touchscreen 7.0-inch 7.0-inch7.0-inch
    Apple CarPlay YesYesYes
    Android Auto YesYesYes
    Reversing cameraYes Yes Yes
    Sensors NoNoRear on ute body
    Handles and mirrorsBlack Body colourBody colour
    Headlights Halogen LED LED

    Wider range

    The BT-50 launch range is dual-cab only, but the D-Max’s range is broader from launch.

    You can already order the LS-U in Space Cab Ute 4×4 form, and the SX in Space Cab Ute (4×2), Space Cab Chassis (4×4) and Single Cab Chassis (4×2 and 4×4). Read all about those here.

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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